Review: Honor MagicBook 14
Honor MagicBook 14: is it worth your purchase?
The Honor MagicBook comes in a sleek, sleek design with a large-format display and slim frames for day-to-day work. For specification purposes, it also guarantees high performance for less than € 600.
Retail price (RRP)
$ 692.87 (around $ 685)
Review: Honor MagicBook 14
The subsidiary brand of Huawei has decided to launch its laptops in the European market, and the now analyzed here, the MateBook 14, is the first to land, after being presented last February worldwide.
We have had the opportunity to test it for a few weeks to see how it works on a daily basis. It should be said that there is a version with a larger screen size that scales to 15.6 inches, but available only in some geographical areas.
The 14-inch 1080p IPS LCD screen takes advantage of all the panel space, with frankly thin frames on both the top and the sides, since the location of the webcam is located in the keyboard area instead of on the screen .
Thus, the screen-to-body ratio becomes 84%. The bottom is a little thicker, but not intrusive, so you will hardly notice it when viewing videos or content of this type.
Nor is the panel glass one of the brightest we have ever seen, so it does not harm too much if you plan to combine the more playful use of the Honor MagicBook, with the most professional or work when using office applications.
The exterior is made of magnesium alloy and is finished in ‘Space Gray’, which we personally find more purple than usual, albeit an appreciation. It is a much nicer finish than standard matte black. There is also a ‘Mystic Silver’ option.
The edge of the notebook also comes with a blue chamfer, giving it some personality in this world of designer notebooks. This, and the Honor logo, are the only features that will allow you to visually differentiate this laptop from Huawei’s MateBook D 14.
It is a light notebook, weighing less than 1.38 kilograms and a thickness of 15.9 mm. It is possible to carry it comfortably in a bag, although its screen is not the 13 inches that seem to be more manageable in this range of ultralight for daily use.
Its keyboard and touchpad area are generous, with a fairly soft and fluffy keystroke with little resistance. It also has a soft backlight, so you can see what you’re writing if you’re in a dark room.
In addition, if you are concerned that your webcam may be activated by third parties in order to suffer an attack or vulnerability, in the MagicBook this will not be a problem since it is hidden inside the keyboard, centered between the F6 and F7 keys.
Although the privacy side is a bonus, this camera is unsatisfactory with 1 MP of quality and an angle directed towards your chin. This means that if you are one of those who write or take notes during the video call, you will hide part of your face.
The laptop comes with a fingerprint sensor that you can use to unlock access. It also maintains the option of establishing a PIN or password, something that you can combine with all the options that Windows allows.
The audio quality is nothing special compared to the option of other laptops that work a little more in this section, to which it must be added that the speakers are on the bottom of the laptop. This does little to enhance the experience if you are watching videos sitting on your bed.
Performance and benefits
In terms of processor, it is not that you can choose between a range of configurations and models. You can only go for the MagicBook with AMD’s Ryzen 5 3500U. There are no Intel options currently in the commercial configuration.
It comes equipped with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, some solvent figures to be able to comfortably handle Windows 10 Home. However, there is no customization option, so if you edit photos or mount videos at a professional level, you should opt for at least 16 GB.
In the connectors and ports section, we have a USB-C and two other standard USB A, in addition to HDMI output and another headphone. Having a video output gives you the possibility of managing an additional screen with your equipment.
As far as the battery is concerned, the MagicBook has a capacity of 56 W, a priori, enough to deal with the management for a full day, as we could corroborate with our tests.
In battery tests with the continuous video playback mode, we achieved satisfactory values of 10 hours and 43 minutes, a figure that is positioned within the average of laptops in this range.
You will only need 90 minutes to fully charge its battery, helped by the connector that we have discussed USB-C, so if you want to use the port for another purpose, you must get an additional adapter.
We have observed that if you opt for the laptop version with a 15.6 screen, you will get a lower battery of 42Wh, something somewhat puzzling considering that the larger device will tend to consume more battery power.
For gaming and graphics purposes, it seems obvious that the MagicBook is not a dedicated gaming rig, but thanks to the Radeon Vega 8 chip, you can still run games like Planet Zoo on this device with acceptable latency.
The fan and thermal dissipation system also does a good job of preventing the laptop from overheating even in high CPU demand situations, and in no case does it sound like an airplane when performing the takeoff maneuver on the runway.
In the graph that we show, you can see the main performance values compared to its competitors, as well as the autonomy tests that we have discussed.
Price and availability
The Honor MagicBook 14 laptop was presented by the brand at an event that took place last February, in which its expected availability for the end of March was announced.
At the moment, it is possible to acquire it through certain alternative channels to the HiHonor website , where it is common to find the brand’s smartphones for sale in our country. Its recommended price at the time of its announcement was € 599, a price that will be respected.
In this way, if you want to buy it, it seems that you will have to resort to alternative channels such as Amazon in the official UK store. You will see that here the base configuration that we have analyzed has a price of 549.99 pounds.
Note that Huawei’s MateBook D is virtually identical in terms of specs. The only differences are the little design details that we’ve already discussed during our review. You can buy the 15-inch one for € 699.
When it comes to good value for money, on both smartphones and laptops, it seems no one can beat the Honor brand, a subsidiary of Huawei. In the case of Honor MagicBook 14, this does not seem an exception.
And it is that the company enters this new range of product with a frankly competitive device, in which Microsoft services and the Windows 10 operating system have not suffered restrictions, as it happens with smartphones.
You’ll be buying a high-end looking laptop with great storage options and without paying a premium price. Now, it is a closed configuration, without the possibility of acquiring more RAM memory or a better graphics chip.
The screen is bright and appropriate for the more playful part, the processor can cope with high workloads and supports certain renowned games, in a compact size but with 14 inches to work comfortably wherever you go.
- Color Space Gray
- 14-inch FullView IPS screen
- 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution
- AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor
- Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
- 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage
- Connectors: 1x USB-C; 1x USB 2.0; 1x USB 3.0; HDMI and mini-jack output
- Connectivity Wifi ac MIMO 2 x 2 and Bluetooth 5.0
- Honor MagicLink 2.0
- 1Mp (720p) webcam
- Fingerprint sensor
- 56 Wh battery (10 hour battery life)
- Windows 10 operating system
- Dimensions of 322.5 x 214.8 x 15.9 mm
- Weight 1.38 kg